K-Project for non-destructive testing and tomography
Non-destructive testing (NDT) is of increasing importance for improving the quality and reliability of industrial products and enables the development of new products, which technically couldn’t be realized till now. Extensive research activities are ongoing to develop and apply NDT methods, as illustrated by the increasing number of scientific NDT publications. In many European countries there are specialist research centres for NDT, e.g. the BAM in Germany or the EMPA in Switzerland, but in Austria no comparable NDT-research centre exists. The planned K-Project will create an applications-orientated NDT research centre which will concentrate and strengthen research on modern NDT methods in Austria (especially multi-scale X-ray computed, optical coherence tomography, active thermography, photoacoustics and non-contact ultrasound).
NDT plays a significant role in the economy and is used in a wide range of industries such as the automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, construction and materials processing industries. Within the next few years an average annual growth rate of 5 % is projected for the NDT market. The use of NDT methods is driven by the introduction of new products, materials and technologies and by the demand for enhanced quality control and cost reduction in industry. All in all, this has resulted in a strong increase in NDT activities.
The planned K-Project merges relevant NDT-research activities in Austria with the aim of improving the quality of research and reaching a critical mass with regard to scientific knowledge, equipment and personnel. Expertise on NDT-methods, combined with expertise in applications-oriented materials science, will create an interdisciplinary project with significant synergies. The consortium consists of 3 scientific partners (FH OÖ-Wels, UAR, and TU Wien) and 10 company partners (Borealis, Carl Zeiss, FCI, Georg Fischer, Gruber+Kaja, Lenzing, ÖGfZP, Plansee, vatron, Voestalpine Stahl), which will collaborate in multi-firm and strategic projects. The main goals of the K-Project are:
1. To enhance the competitiveness of Austrian industry (mainly automotive, materials and manufacturing) as well as of the growing NDT-service sector.
2. To strengthen and improve the infrastructure for research and education by establishing a long-term research centre for NDT with 2 strategic research areas:
• Non-Destructive Testing for critical defect analysis in materials
3. To combine the expertise of NDT-experts and of applications-orientated materials scientists, creating a unique knowledge base with regard to non-destructive evaluation:
• Multi-scale X-ray computed tomography down to high resolutions below 500 nm
• Optical coherence tomography for analysis of defects and strain
• Active thermography for quantitative analysis as well as photoacoustics and non- contact ultrasound for structural investigations
• Data evaluation methods for quantitative heterogeneity and critical defect analysis.
Das Projekt wird im Programm COMET - Competent Centers for Excellence Technologies durch das BMWFW sowie das BMVIT gefördert.